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reviewed 12/2/2018

Urinary Incontinence: True or false?

Urinary incontinence can be an uncomfortable topic to talk about. But millions of Americans live with the condition. Find out how much you know about incontinence.

True or false: In women, involuntary leaking brought on by certain activities is the most common form of incontinence.

True. Stress urinary incontinence is the most common form of incontinence in women. It involves an involuntary leaking of urine when pressure is put on the bladder by coughing, sneezing, exercising or other activities.

True or false: Stress urinary incontinence is a normal part of aging as a woman.

False. This type of urinary incontinence is more common among older women, but younger women can get it too. Risk factors for stress urinary incontinence include pregnancy and childbirth, being overweight or obese, smoking, having a chronic cough, and being Caucasian or Hispanic.

True or false: Men often develop overactive bladder.

True. Overactive bladder—characterized by a sudden urge to urinate—is a common problem for men and women. Women are at increased risk for the condition after going through menopause. Men seem to be at a higher risk if they have had problems with their prostate.

True or false: You can improve incontinence symptoms by drinking fewer fluids.

False. Sometimes people limit how much they drink because they think that if they drink less they will produce less urine. In truth, decreasing fluids just makes your urine more concentrated—and that can irritate the bladder.

True or false: Urinary incontinence cannot be reversed.

False. In most cases, incontinence can be treated successfully. With thorough assessment by a doctor and the right treatment plan, many people with urinary incontinence can improve or even reverse the condition.

Don't let embarrassment stop you from talking to your doctor about urinary incontinence. He or she can review the multiple treatment options available, and together you can find one that works best for you.

Explore treatment options

Sources: American Urological Association; National Association for Continence

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